BY BONNIE BARKMEYER
The German Eagles’ hunger for the ball was obvious after coming from a disappointing loss on the weekend, with an impressive and quick start to the first quarter of their semi final. Germany won the first tap and executed their kicks, handballs and marks cleanly. China scored the first scored and this only made the Eagles work harder in all areas of the ground. In the backline we saw great defensive pressure and numerous stoppages from Germany, especially by Martin Schuettoff, who was a big presence for the whole game. Jakob Jung was a key player right from the start, gaining his fair share of his team’s possessions. A great play in the middle of the first term saw an accurate kick from Jung to captain Florian Naumann, who made a strong lead inside their forward 50 and topped it off with Germany’s first goal. The quarter time score showed the Eagles in front by just 5 points, but China were determined to put up a fight.
The rain held off for the entire semi final, although there were some windy conditions. This didn’t seem to have much effect on the game, with the Eagle’s kicking as accurate as ever. Jakob Jung topped off a stellar performance with a goal on the run from the midfield early in the final term, and he showed no signs of slowing down. A massive set-shot goal to Constantin Pixa was the nail in the coffin and sealed the game for the German Eagles, sending them straight to their first ever Grand Final.
Coach Mark Woods was impressed with his team’s form.
“I’m ecstatic!” he said, “We spent the entire week talking about just going back to basics and that’s what they did. They attacked the ball, and said ‘the ball is ours for the day’ and everyone took that on board.”
Germany will play the solid Croatian team in the Grand Final on Friday for an all-European ending, and the Eagle’s coach sees no need to alter the way the boys are playing.
“There’s no reason to change the game plan, actually we probably went away from it for a little bit there [against Japan], so it’s good to get back to it,” he said.
Jakob Jung was a standout in today’s match and gave credit to his side for a great performance, including his older brother.
“We really stood up as a team, and my brother Gerrit did a really great job in the backline,” he said.
The young gun said he was proud of his team for making Germany’s first Australian Rules football Grand Final, and will represent his country with full force on Friday.
“We want to enjoy it, but we also want to win it.”
Germany: T. Menzel, F. Cordts, P. Evermann, J. Heusken, J. Jung, F. Naumann, J. Wichmann
China: H. Lin, S. Chen, J. Pl
Germany: J. Jung, T. Menzel, J. Wichman, M. Schuetoff, F. Cordts, G. Jung
China: B. Chueng, M. Yang, Z. Chen, S. Chen, J. Huang, D. Wei